Medicinal Tea for Summer Training and Strengthening

Josh Walker, the founder of PlumDragonHerbs developed some training teas for use in some of his vigorous training sessions with his students.  Some of the most commonly used medicinal teas are Chai Training Tea and additions such as Bai Dou Kou and Huang Qi.  However, the Chai Training Tea is very warming and is best for clearing Wind and Damp and warming the body during the colder months.  In the summer, however,  a tea that is cooler in action helps replenish fluids, and provides a boost in energy is most suitable.

The following is a discussion of a simple training tea designed specifically for Spring/Summer training:

The formula begins with a generous helping of Ren Shen.  However, the commonly used steamed red ginseng is quite warming and, while this itself doesn’t pose any problems, we want to be careful not to provide too much deep warmth as this kind of tea is really meant for the hot months.  Therefore, it is best to use a very high-quality white ginseng root.  We often use the very high-quality Yi Shan Shen wild mountain ginseng often stocked.

As a quick side-note,  a lot of energy drinks in grocery stores boast of the use of ginseng and green tea.  Please keep in mind that this is really a waste of ginseng—and green tea.  Teas such as green tea tend to inhibit the therapeutic effects of some tonics, most notably Ginseng.  So don’t buy bottled green tea with ginseng—its mostly just sugar water anyway, and a complete waste of money…although it does always taste good! ;)

The ginseng is followed by Gou Qi Zi and Da Zao.  Gou Qi Zi will provide mild Yin tonic support to our high-quality ginseng; it also delivers a number of unrelated health benefits and is often used in small quantities in formulas for its ability to help build Blood and nourish the Kidney and Liver Yin.  Da Zao is a wonderful food-grade Qi tonic which also tonifies blood, and has a mild calming effect.  Its ability to “harmonize” other herbs goes mostly unused here.

Gou Qi Zi and Da Zao are nice sweet herbs that are very useful in creating a good therapeutic beverage that has a nice taste to it.

To balance out the Yin and dampening aspects of some of these herbs, we add a small amount of Lu Rong as well as some Chen Pi to keep everything moving and from becoming overly damp.  Lu Rong is fairly hot, but its inclusion not only balances the Yin aspects, it also strengthens the body, building an increased capacity to perform physical work.

Lastly, we add 1 nice large whole scorpion to the tea.  The scorpion will help strongly open the channels and extinguish Wind.  However, because we make about ¾ gallon of tea, the scorpion will have only a very mild effect.

The final formula looks like this:

  • Wild-crafted 10-year Mountain Ginseng 28 g
  • Gou Qi Zi 12 g
  • Da Zao 12 g
  • Chen Pi 9 g
  • Lu Rong 6 g
  • Quan Xie 1 g
  • Wild flower Honey to taste.

The tea tastes quite good.  The wild ginseng has a very noticeable sweet and slightly bitter physical taste to it, the Guo Qi Zi and Da Zao help round out a fairly complex type of taste that is brought out by the addition of the sugars within the honey.

This tea is recommended for use during the summertime for its moistening properties that help generate fluids and increase energy levels.  With high-quality wild ginseng, the effects of long-term use are profound.

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